ISBN-10:
0801472946
ISBN-13:
9780801472947
Pub. Date:
03/21/2006
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
ISBN-10:
0801472946
ISBN-13:
9780801472947
Pub. Date:
03/21/2006
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Uncas: First of the Mohegans / Edition 1

Uncas: First of the Mohegans / Edition 1

by Michael Leroy Oberg Michael Leroy Oberg
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Overview

Many know the name Uncas only from James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans, but the historical Uncas flourished as an important leader of the Mohegan people in seventeenth-century Connecticut. In Uncas: First of the Mohegans, Michael Leroy Oberg integrates the life story of an important Native American sachem into the broader story of European settlement in America. The arrival of the English in Connecticut in the 1630s upset the established balance among the region's native groups and brought rapid economic and social change. Oberg argues that Uncas's methodical and sustained strategies for adapting to these changes made him the most influential Native American leader in colonial New England.Emerging from the damage wrought by epidemic disease and English violence, Uncas transformed the Mohegans from a small community along the banks of the Thames River in Connecticut into a regional power in southern New England. Uncas learned quickly how to negotiate between cultures in the conflicts that developed as natives and newcomers, Indians and English, maneuvered for access to and control of frontier resources. With English assistance, Uncas survived numerous assaults and plots hatched by his native rivals.Unique among Indian leaders in early America, Uncas maintained his power over large numbers of tributary and other native communities in the region, lived a long life, and died a peaceful death (without converting to Christianity) in his people's traditional homeland. Oberg finds that although the colonists considered Uncas "a friend to the English," he was first and foremost an assertive guardian of Mohegan interests.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801472947
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 03/21/2006
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.64(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Michael Leroy Oberg is Associate Professor of History at the State University of New York'Geneseo. He is the author of Dominion and Civility: English Imperialism and Native America, 1585'1685, also from Cornell.

What People are Saying About This

Tom Wanamaker

"The author looks at Uncas' relationship with both the English and the region's other tribes, particularly the Pequots and Narragansetts, both of whom rivaled the Mohegans for control of the area. The sachem's skillful cultivation and use of his allies, while keeping Mohegan interests at the forefront of his concerns, draws Oberg's praise."

James D. Drake

"Unlike past writers, Michael Leroy Oberg avoids caricaturing Uncas and humanizes him. Because Uncas closely allied himself with the English yet managed to maintain a greater cultural gap between his people and the colonists than did many other leaders, he was unique. Yet if one had to choose an Indian whose life story could be used to present a microcosm of seventeenth-century New England, it would have to be Uncas."

Peter C. Mancall

"This is a very impressive narrative account of the life of one of the most notable Mohegans. Michael Leroy Oberg demonstrates that it is possible to reconstruct in detail most facets of a Native American's life in the seventeenth century. Uncas: First of the Mohegans is paced well and its scenes are often vivid."

Neal Salisbury

"Oberg has produced what should stand for some time as the definitive biography of Uncas, one that significantly advances our understanding of the sachem's life and of Anglo-Indian relations in seventeenth-century southern New England. He is especially effective in showing just how fluid indigenous political leadership and tributary relationships were and how Uncas and other Indian leaders capitalized on that fluidity.... Oberg has given us our fullest portrait of Uncas to date, together with a solid account of the historical context that shaped, and was shaped by, this remarkable sachem."

Choice Magazine

"Oberg (SUNY, Geneseo) covers all aspects of intertribal and Colonist-Indian relation and discusses military actions and horrible atrocities committed by both white and Native Americans.... Thoroughly researched in archival and ethnological sources, this book gives Uncas his due and clarifies trends in competing cultures. Summing up: Highly recommended. General and academic collections."

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